Friday, January 31, 2014

January Finishes

I thought I would end each month this year with a collage of my finishes. It's easy to forget what got done when, so I'm hoping this will help me keep track!

My latest finish this week was a custom order Dream On quilt. I so love these fabrics, and I've managed to snag a few hard-to-find precuts on Etsy and Ebay so I can keep hoarding them!

The one thing I wish I'd bought more of when I had the chance was yardage. It's very hard to find, and it really is the perfect finish for the backing:

I was happy to find enough of the pretty pink fabric for the backing hidden in my stash, as well as the green stripe binding.

Linking up to Amanda Jean's Finish It Up Friday!


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Work-in-Progress Wednesday

In honor of work-in-progress Wednesday, I pulled this project out last night:

These are scrappy star blocks made from various Bonnie and Camille collections (the background fabric is the pale grey dot from the Ruby collection).

I'm looking forward to working on this one again, even though it means a lot of tedious triangle trimming!

I also sewed together these coin strips while working on a custom order project. I'm thinking of using an aqua solid for the background -- maybe one of the new Hawthorne Threads solids?

Linking up to Work-in-Progress Wednesday!


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Final New Year's Quilty Resolution

My final New Year's Quilty Resolution is to write four new patterns this year. I'm happy to announce that my first new pattern is ready to share!

This pattern was inspired by an antique pinwheel top that I finished in June for a colleague. I loved the double pinwheel block design and decided to play around with it a bit:

I made some blocks out of Denyse Schmidt's "Blossom Reel" fabric collection (from the DS Quilts fabrics sold at JoAnn's). I really love how Denyse's fabrics have a modern, yet vintage vibe, so I thought they would be perfect for updating this antique design.

One of my favorite parts is they grey dot sashing! Grey is such a great color to pair with modern fabrics.

The pattern is written in a tutorial style, with step-by-step instructions and full color photos throughout. I have included four size options (baby, lap, twin coverlet and full). It is now available for immediate download in both my Etsy shop, and my Craftsy pattern store.

Here's a comparison of my inspiration, and the finished update. I'm looking forward to making the pattern in another fabric collection, as well!


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Catching Up!

Since it has been a while since my last post, I thought it was time to share some of my recently finished projects!

First, another Vroom quilt:

Second, a disappearing nine-patch quilt in the new Wrens and Friends fabric collection by Gina Martin for Moda Fabrics (love the bright, cheery colors in this line!).
And finally, a custom order quilt in the Here Fishy Fishy collection by Heather Mulder Peterson. I added an octopus and seahorse appliqué (here's a link to the octopus appliqué pattern).

I haven't forgotten about my last January quilty resolution -- I'll be back in a couple of days to share that, as well as soon of my scrap-busting progress!


Thursday, January 9, 2014

New Year's Quilty Resolutions # 5 and #6

My next two Quilty Resolutions are intertwined. First of all. I really want to make an effort to make more donation quilts for my guild this year. I used to make at least four a year, and I've really slacked off. So, Resolution #5 is to make at least one donation quilt every three months this year.

I happen to have a big pink 18 gallon tote full of orphan scraps that has basically been gathering dust under my quilting frame for the past two years. I am really tired of how much space it takes up, so it's time to start digging in and using them up!

Resolution #6 is to use up as many scraps as possible this year in an effort to empty the tote. I have several scrap projects in mind that will make great donation quilts. Tonight, I dug out a few of the larger scraps and pieced some snowball blocks. Since I'm just starting to dig through the scraps, I feel pretty confident that I have enough to do a specific color scheme for this first quilt. I'm going to look for colors that match the ones in the dark grayish purple floral blocks. I also found a fairly good sized piece of white fabric to use for the corners.

Snowball blocks are a great way to use up scraps. I chose to make mine out of 6 1/2 inch squares, and 2 1/2 inch background squares. Cluck Cluck Sew also has a great tutorial for making them out of 5 inch charm squares.

I also cut a few extra block pieces so they are ready to use as leaders and enders as I work on other projects (for more info on this, check out Bonnie Hunter's blog).

I'm looking forward to building a pile of these as I work on other projects!


Monday, January 6, 2014

Last Quilt, First Quilt

I thought I'd take a short break from posting resolutions to show you my last completed quilt of 2013, and my first completed quilt of 2014!

My last finish of 2013 was this PB & J Scrappy Trips quilt. I blogged about it here, but now the binding is done, so I wanted to share the final pics. I enjoyed sewing the binding on the long train trip to Indianapolis, and it also served the purpose of keeping me warm while I slept on the train!

The minky backing is so comfy (in fact, my brother-in-law wanted me to leave it at their house!) and it is the perfect size for snuggling on the couch. Here's a picture of the quilt next to the coin quilt I made from the leftover jelly roll pieces:

My first finish of 2014 is a small patchwork quilt made of scraps from "Sugar and Spice" and "Twice as Nice" by The Quilted Fish for Riley Blake fabrics. Both collections go together perfectly.

I bound this quilt while enjoying the premiere of Downton Abbey last night!

I've sewing up a storm since we retuned home. I cut up several fat quarter collections while visiting my sister (she offered to iron while I cut!) and organized them for sewing. Now, I have a stack of pieced blocks ready to sew into various tops!

I'll be back tomorrow with more resolutions!


Saturday, January 4, 2014

New Year's Quilty Resolution #4

When I started a blog a few years ago, I really had no idea what I was doing. Now that I am finally putting some effort into posting on a regular basis, I think it's time to spruce it up and make it look like a real blog! I took a couple of screen shots in its current state -- hopefully, I can have a nice "makeover" by the end of the month!

Quilty Resolution # 4: Continue to post regularly on my blog, and do a blog makeover!




Friday, January 3, 2014

New Year's Quilty Resolution #3

The fun side of having an Etsy quilting business is getting to play with lots and lots of fabric!

The less fun side is having to deal with this:

So, Quilty Resolution # 3 is to spend at least five minutes a day updating my tax Excel spreadsheets so that I am not overwhelmed at the end of the year!


Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year's Quilty Resolution, Day 2

I'm starting off 2014 with a series of blog posts on my Quilty Resolutions. Hopefully, putting them in cyberspace will make me more likely to stick with them!

Anyone who has virtually visited my sewing room (to take a tour of my tiny, but functional space, see this post) knows that one of my favorite storage items are these cube drawers from Michaels:

I purchased the cubes 2 or 3 at a time (on sale or with a coupon) over a period of several months, and eventually built this 4 x 4 structure. Although I would love to purchase more and add on, I am at the point of maximum capacity in my current sewing space.

I absolutely love the way fat quarters, jelly rolls, and charm packs fit perfectly in the drawers. It is so easy to see what I have on hand, and very easy to return fabrics to their proper storage!

I have labeled the drawers with the names of either designers or fabric collections for sorting purposes.

So, on to the resolution part: my fabric stash has exceeded drawer capacity, so it is time to start going through the drawers and make some quilts out of what I already own, so that I can free up some space for the fabrics under my sewing table!

Quilty Resolution # 2: "sew" my way through some fabric drawers to make room for new fabrics (and at the same time, try to cut down on what I add to the stash!)


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year's Quilty Resolution # 1

Happy New Year!

Since my Twenty-Five Days of Quilts blog post challenge seemed to be such a great motivator for me to power through and finish things, I thought I would try a series of Quilty Resolutions. Hopefully, I'll be more inclined to follow through if they are etched in cyberspace!

Resolution # 1: Package Finished Quilts:

Before I mail out a completed quilt to an Etsy customer, I wash it, package it up in a simple fabric bag (made from muslin or sheets I buy on clearance!), tie it with a scrap of fabric, and attach a tag with wash/care instructions. I also enclose a matching Kleenex fabric holder as a little gift.

I have a great shelving unit from Sam's that I use to store all the completed quilts in Priority mail boxes (most of my quilts are mailed in medium flat rate, or regional rate, boxes. When they are packaged and ready to go, they store beautifully, remain dust free, and are ready to ship as soon as an order comes in. Since I work full time, I love having the boxes ready to go -- I can print out a label in the morning, and take it with me to mail from work. I keep a numbered list of quilts and boxes so it is easy to find the one I need.

Unfortunately, I like quilting more than packaging, so this is usually what happens -- most of the quilts end up in boxes on the shelf, but without all the packaging details! So, my first Quilty Resolution of 2014 is to package one quilt each day until I catch up, and then to try to maintain the system by packaging up quilts as soon as I take photos and list them!